Monday, July 16, 2007

Your greatest weapon

The most powerful weapon that people possess is their ability to learn. Human beings are thinking machines, they are able to improvise, adapt and overcome. The great pity is that most people seem to lose this skill once they leave school. Your ability to learn allows you to survive in the harsh environment that is today's world.
 
Spend some time, take a look around, see what works and what doesn't. Find out who's successful and find out why. You should also look to fields that maybe you are not familiar with for inspiration. People like Leonardo Da Vinci are great examples of people who were experts in many diverse fields. Leonardo was a painter, designer, architect, engineer and more. Was he an extraordinary person? Yes, he was but how did he become like this? He continued to learn and grow throughout his whole life.
 
Everyone has the capacity within to learn. You don't need to be the brainiest person you just need to love learning and love learning about new things. Sometimes it is very hard to move outside our comfort zone and challenge ourselves. This is where people like Leonardo excelled. They weren't afraid of new challenges, they eagerly sought them out. I'm sure that initially this was probably not the case, even for people like Leonardo. Many of his attempts were dismal failures but his true genius was keeping at it.
 
Another role model for perseverance is Thomas Edison who coined the phrase, I believe, “invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. Bottom line, you ain't going to become as master over night, you gotta keep working at it but if you do then you will become a master.
 
I like to come back to the analogy of compound interest that I seem to use so often. Compound interest is such a simple concept with a GUARANTEED payoff, yet very few people seem to implement it. Why? Probably because they feel it takes tool long. Well, before you know it, the potential benefits would have started kicking in while most people continue to do nothing. The secret to compound interest is that you have to stick with it. It's the same with learning you gotta stick with it and make it a life long passion for once you stop learning in my books you effectively stop living.